Thursday, May 16, 2024

The Hockey Quilt is Finished!

It's done! I haven't made a quilt in a long time that was as challenging as this one. I carefully planned this quilt almost 2 years before I started it. And then, after I began, I changed the design (due to a variety of factors) causing myself constant problems. Every quilt has a story... 

This quilt is for our youngest grandson. I tried for a year and a half to find the Chicago Blackhawk HEAD printed on cotton fabric in the right size for the center of this quilt with no luck. Because it is trademarked, I couldn't even have one printed. One day, I saw a 100% cotton t-shirt online that I thought might work so I ordered it. By that time, it was late enough in the hockey season that I had trouble finding Blackhawk fabrics. When I did finally find a couple of prints, I could not order the plain red and black fabrics that went with the printed fabrics, and it took a couple of orders to get the right red. When I did find the red fabric I wanted, I was shorted a yard of fabric, so I had to order more. At that point I thought I was all set to go forward.

I made the 7" letters with no problems.


I then realized that the red print was directional, so I decided how I'd deal with that. I had to match the pattern to make the strips long enough for the borders Then came the rink. I inset all the circles - that was a bit tedious knowing I didn't have any extra fabric. The middle circle surrounds the Blackhawk head - there was one chance to get it right OR I would have to find another t-shirt to order and pay more $$. I made lots of prototypes and things went well. THEN I CHANGED THE DESIGN. Looking back, I should have stopped and redrafted the entire pattern, but I was ready to sew! I really do know better.

The rink was done and looked great,
but it really needed to be shorter since there was no easy way to make it wider for this new design. I didn't have enough fabric to start over. So, I cut off the ends and made the white space between each goal and its end 1.5" shorter. I had to completely remake the ends of the rink. It was a lot of work but worth it to make the entire quilt 3" shorter.

The letters I made were now too big since they were now surrounding the rink instead of being in the outside border. So, I made 5" letters. The red borders above and below the letters needed to be different sizes on the sides and ends since this new design changed the dimensions of the quilt to be longer so I wanted the quilt to be  wider. I was glad that that I ordered more red fabric, lots more!

The printed red fabric became the outside border instead of the inside border meaning the strips I had made needed to be longer. Adding to the length (and matching the pattern) of the already made strips used nearly all the red print. I scrounged just enough to add a small detail to each of the four corners. I carefully noted the quilt length when I added the side borders and the width when I added the top and bottom borders. And the top was finished!

It was time to put together the back. The black print is also directional (surprise!) and I didn't want to match the pieces so I decided to use half of those 7" letters and more of that 'extra' red fabric. It went together easily, and I was careful to use my recorded measurements for length and width, so all was good.

When I sandwiched the quilt on the longarm, I decided to baste the quilt, so I'd be able to move it back and forth easily as well as remove it from the frame and put it back on in different directions as needed. It took a while to figure out basting - I've only done that once before - but I finally got the hang of it and was almost done when I ran out of backing with 2" of the quilt top left! I went back and checked my measurements. I wrote down the length of the sides for the borders but did not update them after adding the borders to the ends of the quilt.  So... I ripped out the basting which was very easy. There was no way I was going to match the black print on the back, and I didn't have enough plain black to add to each end, but I did have extra red. So, I added 6" of red to each end of the backing. Although only about 2" would actually be on each end of the back of the quilt, the rest was needed to attach the backing and rest of the quilt to the frame. 

After basting the quilt again, I quilted the quilt with meandering. I used Glide thread: #10WG1 Linen for the ice rink, #11001 Black for lettering on red fabric, and #70187 Ruby the lettering on black fabric, the rest of the top, and for the bottom. I tried printing the letters but didn't like that so I used cursive which I'm not sure my grandson can read. I wish I had made all the writing 1" tall but decided to leave the 2" letters that were done. The size of the quilt is 72" by 96".

The red print fabric on the front:

The black print fabric on the back:

When I asked our youngest grandson for his four favorite all-time Chicago Blackhawk players, he also gave me his four favorite players for the 2023-2024 season, so I included them. Originally the four favorite player numbers would have been in the corners of the quilt. In the revised version, all eight numbers are on the inner border.

His current (2023-2024) favorites: 
This says " 2023-2024 Favorites"

Connor Bedard
(first name on the side of the 8)

Philipp Kurashev

Seth Jones

Andreas Athanasiou

His all-time favorites:
This says "All time Favorites"

Connor Beard made both lists

Patrick Kane

Corey Crawford

Alex DeBrincat
notice his nickname "the cat"

The Chicago Blackhawks Hockey Quilt was worth all of the challenges.

Oh yeah, the BEST part is our grandson loves it! And he can read the cursive writing.   

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Scrappy Mosaic Wallhanging

I wanted another wallhanging and happened to be reading Connie's blog Freemotion by the River. She shared a pattern for a Scrappy Mosaic Quilt. I decided it was the perfect pattern for my wallhanging. The pattern uses 6 rows of 5 blocks; I used 3 rows of 3 blocks.

My wallhanging finished at 27" by 27". I quilted this on my Juki domestic sewing machine with a large spiral that began in the center and got looser as it approached the outer border. The inside spirals were about 1/4" apart and the outside ones are close to 1 1/2" apart.  I used Glide Linen #10WG1 thread on the top and Aurifil #2735 royal blue thread on the bottom.

The front is all scraps - the white is Bella Solid bleached cotton and the colors are all batiks. The backing is a scrap piece of blue batik.

It fits the frame perfectly and adds a little color to that corner of our home.

Update on Ray: He is in treatment and we know he is in the Control Group of the Clinical Trial. Usually you don't know and never find out which group you are in but in this case, the Test Group is given an extra hormone and the Control Group does not get a placebo so they just tell the patients which group they are in. Ray is getting the same treatment he would get if he wasn't in the Trial but he is being monitored more often and longer than he would be if he weren't in the trial. We think that is beneficial. Thanks again for your prayers and messages; we both appreciate them.


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